WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) today released the following statement after Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) announced plans to hold a vote by January 17 to use the “nuclear option” to radically change the Senate’s filibuster rules and abolish the 60-vote threshold when considering legislation.
“If Democrats make the irresponsible decision to use the nuclear option and end the 60-vote requirement for bills to pass, the majority party, even with the thinnest of margins, would have absolute power and the minority party would have no voice. This would end any motivation to work in a bipartisan manner on behalf of all Americans. The consequences for our nation, and West Virginia, would be devastating, because this change opens the door to passage of the Green New Deal, packing the Supreme Court, and federalizing our elections to name a few.
“If Democrats were successful with doing away with the filibuster, legislative accomplishments could be undone and redone over and over with just one flip of a Senate seat. That’s a dangerous precedent to set and a reckless way to govern. This move would have disastrous consequences and would fundamentally change our democratic process for years to come. In Senator Schumer’s own words from 2005, eliminating the filibuster would ‘make this country into a banana republic, where if you don’t get your way, you change the rules… it will be a doomsday for Democracy if we do.’ And more recently in 2017, he said that this move would be like ‘acting like you know they’re a cat on the top of a tree and they have to jump off with all the damage that entails.’
“We are able to get things accomplished in a bipartisan way, and I will always strive for that. We can do so without upending decades of tradition and procedure on behalf of only half of the Senate. This short-sighted power grab is bad for our country, and bad for West Virginia, and I strongly oppose it.”
In 2017, Senator Capito, along with 60 of her colleagues from both sides of the aisle sent a letter to Leaders Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer urging them to preserve the filibuster for legislation. In total, 28 Republicans and 32 Democrats signed the letter.
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